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New Resources for Advancing Equity in Sustainability and Climate Action

April 20, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT


The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN), The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) are pleased to announce an upcoming webinar about new resources for advancing equity in sustainability and climate action.

Innovative tools to incorporate racial equity considerations into climate and sustainability actions could be more broadly used in communities across the country with a boost from two resources offered by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN).

The webinar will be on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 9 am Pacific / 10 am Mountain / 11 am Central / 12 noon Eastern. You must pre-register here. Upon registration, you will receive the webinar link and dial in information.

Julia Parzen, consultant with USDN, Glenn Harris, president of the Center for Social Inclusion and Julie Nelson, director of Government Alliance on Race and Equity will cover:

  • USDN’s Equity Professional Development Program that includes a holistic, five-segment curriculum of readings, videos and worksheets that support local government staff in applying an equity lens to sustainability projects. It also includes a facilitator’s guide for offering workshops using this content. The curriculum is available online. More than 50 local government sustainability leaders already have used the Program. 90 percent have reported that it gave them a better understanding of equity, how to choose a good project to advance equity, how to build a strong racial equity team, and how to craft a compelling story about racial equity and sustainability in their community.
  • The Partners for Places two-year, pilot initiative to provide financial and technical support to a cohort of 5 to 8 cities that participated in the USDN Professional Development Program and their place-based foundation partners to build local capacity to use an equity lens in advancing a sustainability and/or climate action initiative and intentionally learn together. Using an equity lens for a project is a means to actively insert racial equity questions into decision making from project design through project evaluation and to find ways to embed these questions in every decision.

Why is this important? Communities of color and low-income neighborhoods are disproportionately harmed by the effects of climate change and environmental hazards, yet typically lack the political clout to ensure their needs are addressed. That’s why it is essential that decision-makers are equipped with the resources and tools to protect the health and well-being of their most vulnerable residents.

The USDN Equity in Professional Development Program and the Partners for Places Equity Pilot Project help create standardized tools and processes for municipal governments to add equity lenses to sustainability activities in ways that can be tested, assessed, and more broadly deployed. The goal is to unleash a new wave of equity-focused decision-making in climate and sustainability projects and policies across the nation. The tools were developed with technical support from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI).

Both projects were made possible with generous financial support from the Kendeda Fund and Kresge Foundation. “The Kresge Foundation is proud to support the USDN Equity Professional Development Program and the Partners for Places Equity Pilot Project,” said Jessica Boehland, Senior Program Officer for the Kresge’s Environment Program. “We believe these initiatives will help city staff prioritize social equity and racial justice while simultaneously enhancing environmental sustainability and resilience.”


April 20, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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